News from the Provost

Friday November 13,2020


Greetings to entering Transfer Students!


I’m so honored to welcome you to the University of California, Santa Cruz! If you’re getting this, you’re among our newest admits, and you’ve been assigned to Kresge College. 


You’re set to enter our community in the winter quarter. And what a winter this will be! It hardly needs to be mentioned that your experience of beginning a UC Santa Cruz education will be unlike any we’ve known before. I want you to know that at Kresge College, we’re motivated and excited to make this a great start for you, and I hope you share my excitement.


Kresge is a college of writers and readers, scientists and poets, journalists and agro-ecologists... single parents, military veterans, life-long learners, immigrants, Santa Cruz locals, and mixtures of all of the above. Kresge is the home of Science Communication and City-on-a-Hill Press, and the roots of women's studies; we are a community that, for many generations, has been deeply committed to participatory democracy. We're a place for economists, artists, service-learners, and astronomers... and the home of UCSC’s LGBTQIA+ pride parade. But the true heart of our unique college can be found, dating back to the words of our very first course catalogues in the early 1970s: At Kresge, we pride ourselves in being a college that constantly reinvents itself to welcome the newest voices in our community. What will Kresge become, with you, our newest members, as our leaders?


Kresge College has a rich tradition of supporting transfer students, and we welcome you and your families to make yourself at home at Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students (STARS) on the second floor of our Academic Building. STARS is dedicated to serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and needs, and provides mentorship, counseling, student leadership opportunities, events, and comfortable study spaces. We also join forces with STARS to offer Kresge 25: Successful Transfer to the Research University, a popular and intrepid curriculum designed just for transfer students. This 2-unit course is designed to help you make a well-informed and supported transition into our university with a sense of purpose, and a greater awareness of the distinctive opportunities of a liberal arts education at a research university. (Complete this form by November 17th to express interest in the course.) When you enroll, you’ll have an opportunity to select a section with a distinct area emphasis relevant to your own disciplinary or interdisciplinary academic goals. I also invite you to consider some of the other courses we offer at Kresge that can contribute to your growth as a scholar, activist, naturalist, and communicator.


Kresge College Academic Advising Team — Preceptor Sarah Shane-Vasquez, and Academic Advisers Casey Daubert and Thao Mai. Sarah, Thao, and Casey provide you with all kinds of support—from your transition into research university learning, to helping you give shape to your UCSC experience, and your path toward graduation. Write to with any questions you might have, and we are ready to meet you--either by appointment or during our popular zoom “walk-in” hours. 


I hope you will make powerful use of your new intellectual home at Kresge College. Students often fulfill many of their degree requirements with Kresge courses, on topics ranging from agroecology to media studies, from cooperative management to grant-writing. We hope you’ll explore Kresge deeply, and be involved in the many smaller communities that combine to weave the fabric of our college. 


I'm thrilled you'll be joining us on this journey. Welcome to UCSC, and thank you for being the heart of Kresge!







July 1, 2020

Guest Commentary | Ending police presence at UCSC is first step

Submitted by UC Santa Cruz faculty

On June 2, the Movement for Black Lives called for a day of action focused on university divestment from the police. By that evening, seventy UCSC faculty had signed a letter to UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive asking her to end police and ICE presence on campus; to establish an advisory board to monitor campus police activity; and to create offices of community nonviolence in conjunction with a transparent budgeting process.

The week before, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel announced—in response to a powerful statement from UM Student Body President Jael Kerandi—the limiting of university collaborations with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). On June 2, Minneapolis Public Schools terminated their contract with MPD. And on June 7, Minneapolis’s City Council pledged to dismantle the police department and institute alternative structures. Black activists have long called for the demilitarizing, defunding, and dismantling of a police system that far from protecting all, actively reproduces racial violence and social inequality. As cities and campuses across the nation take up this call, our largest public university system should be a leader.

Two recent studies have shown that UC campus police disproportionately stop, search, and arrest Black and Latino members of their communities. Despite 200 incidents of reported use of force, the UCPD has disclosed almost no records in the interest of police transparency or accountability, nor has its transparency and accountability website been updated since 2016. Because the UCPD, like California Highway Patrol, enjoys statewide jurisdiction and authority, its actions extend beyond campus. Armed with military-grade respirators and canisters of tear gas, UCSC and UCB police were patrolling Oakland streets last week. On June 1, hundreds of protesters in Los Angeles were detained and processed, without university permission, at UCLA’s Jackie Robinson Stadium. When UCLA declared that none of its facilities may be so used, it recognized that the university is not a carceral space.

UCSC itself drew national headlines in February when—at a cost of $300,000 a day—it enlisted local and state police, equipped with riot gear and military surveillance technology, to contain peaceful demonstrations in support of graduate students striking for a living wage. Seventeen students were arrested, and some sustained injuries. Beyond the initial deployment of police, the culture of policing has become business as usual in UCSC’s response to the protests. Even as the campus has been almost entirely closed due to the pandemic, and in the midst of the national uprisings, UCSC has continued to pursue student conduct charges against several dozen strikers and protesters. A disproportionate number of Black, Latino, indigenous, queer, trans, and undocumented students have faced being banned from campus, dismissed from employment, and, in the process, they are suffering grave harm to their academic and financial futures.

Only last week, UCSC students engaging in protest actions were again targeted. A SCPD Instagram post on June 4 (“A Tale of Two Protests”) contrasted the previous day’s West Cliff gathering of 6,000 people with protest actions later that evening, and singled out UCSC graduate students as holding “a different intention of destruction.” For the university to maintain ties with a police force that sees our own students as bad actors diminishes its core mission. Education is not the same thing as “law and order” control, surveillance, discipline, and punishment. Surely now is the time for UCSC and the UC to redress punitive responses to the constitutionally recognized right to protest.

When we call for the university to defund and divest from the police, we are asking it that it acknowledge how its everyday operating practices reproduce underlying structures of racism and inequity. Resources moved out of policing can support the infrastructure of the university we want: Ethnic Resource Centers, anti-hate/bias training, offices dedicated to nonviolence and community justice, living wages for graduate student workers and adjunct lecturers, greater financial and academic support for undergraduates. The list is long; ending police and ICE presence on our campuses is the first step.

Submitted by faculty at UC Santa Cruz: Vilashini Cooppan, Carla Freccero, Christine Hong, Nick Mitchell, T.J. Demos, Karen Bassi, Ben Leeds Carson.


Greetings Porter-Kresge Community, near and far,

We write to you as your Provost, Senior and Associate Directors, Groundskeeper, College Programs Staff, Housing and Housing Office Coordinators, Lead Preceptor/Advisor, and neighbors at Kresge College. We hope this note finds you well and we hope you are staying connected with friends, family, and loved ones.

We write to you about the repeated appearance of profane graffiti at Kresge, reflecting anger at the UC and anger at UCSC’s higher administration. The problem has persisted long enough that we feel we need to give some voice to our experience of it, and we hope you’ll raise your voices with us. We suspect that the perpetrators are not Kresge or Porter students—this is just not how we do things here—but we don’t know for sure, and we want it to stop.

The graffiti is cowardly. Meaningful protest reflects coalition and solidarity, and it speaks truth to power. The graffiti does neither—it lacks imagination and purpose, and if it is intended to afflict or annoy the UC administration, by vandalizing one of our most remote and tightly-knit communities, it has missed its target by a mile. Kresge staff and students have supported student orgs, unions, cooperatives, and others, who have protested meaningfully to demand accessible public education, racial justice, intellectual freedom, labor rights, labor equity, and more. We want to hear reasoned protest and dissent. We do not want our homes destroyed.

The graffiti harms students. Like all of us, students still living at Kresge—who are nearly the only ones who see the graffiti—are likely to be experiencing challenging reductions in security, community, amenities, and services. 

The graffiti harms staff. It damages the work environment, and adds stress and burden, to workers who spend hours, some of them in harm’s way, to maintain a living environment already under exceptional duress.

We imagine that many of you share our feelings about this, and have more to say. We look forward to turning a corner toward sanity and comfort in our campus home. Thank you for reading and we invite you to spread the word. 

Your neighbors,

Ben Leeds Carson, Kresge College Provost

Mike Yamauchi-Gleason, Senior Director of College Student Life

Kathy Cooney, Associate Director of College Student Life

Katharina Pierini, Groundskeeper at Kresge College

Aidan Johnston, Assistant College Programs Coordinator

Labris Willendorf, College Academic Programs Coordinator

Raven Iverson-Davis, Housing Office Coordinator

D.J. Bell, Housing Coordinator

Sarah Shane-Vasquez, Lead Academic Preceptor


February 18, 2020

Greetings undergrads of all stripes and strategies, uncompromising undertakers, fantastic fellows, and fabulously fired-up firebrands of Kresge College,

Just two reminders — in case these aren't already in your calendar:


  1. Come to our DEEP READ Tea and Cookies tomorrow!... Wednesday, February 19, at 4:00 PM — or if you're on the other side of the picket line, or just can't make it physically, follow this zoom link to be here digitally. We'll relax from 4-5, but around 5 we'll read a little of Atwood's The Testaments together. (Note: this was previously advertised with a different theme and date, but stay tuned for a correction on that one!)


  1. Don't forget that the Reyna Grande Scholarship deadline is March 2. See the attached flyer, and visit for more information. I really hope you'll take a risk — and submit a proposal!... even if you're still not 100% what you want to do.

All my best,

Provost Ben

February 10, 2020
To Kresge and Oakes Students, on Intellectual Freedom - from Provosts Ben Carson & Marcia Ochoa:

Dear Students of Kresge and Oakes Colleges,

Last week we learned that graduate students at UCSC will begin a strike this week to improve their compensation and working conditions. The strike started today, Monday, February 10th, and the strikers have not set an end date. This follows a grade strike that began at the end of Fall quarter. Both strikes were initiated independently of their union representation, in part because the union representing graduate students is bound by a contract affecting all UC System campuses. The concerns of our graduate students on this campus are specific to the cost-of-living issues we face in Santa Cruz. In a meeting earlier this month, the administration offered to pause its disciplinary actions toward striking graduate students, if graduate students would pause their strike action.

That de-escalation may still be around the corner, and we can hope for it. However, on Friday, February 6, in anticipation of this week’s strike, the administration took an additional action that deserves our special and critical attention at Oakes and Kresge Colleges. They asked you to report courses and their instructors, by name, to the administration, either

  1. if/when classes are canceled or re-positioned as a result of the picket line, or
  2. if/when the content of lectures isn’t what you expected according to the syllabus, including, for example, if the content includes any discussion of the strike or the conditions that led to it.

You have all taken core courses, at Oakes — Communicating Diversity for a Just Society — or at Kresge — Power and Representation, and with your experiences in those courses you might describe the administration’s request in rhetorical terms. The administration represented a concern with your education, and asked for information about classroom disruptions. In the same expression, the administration asked for information about the choices that your teachers make. Was the lecture aligned with the syllabus, did they teach you what you expected, did they make a decision related to a picket line, was it practical, or political, or both? We invite you to consider these questions through the lens you developed in Core.

As Provosts, we are here to provide guidance as you enter the University and make your way through your degrees. We are not here to compel you toward any one perspective in this difficult strike, but rather to encourage you to think critically. We think it is part of the privilege and duty of a university education to aspire to principles of free expression and free inquiry. You always have the freedom to express your thoughts and grievances to the administration — you can report the need for more electives that fulfill a particular GE requirement, more representation of trans- or non-binary histories, report an instructor’s discussion of the strike, or request more quarters of advanced Arabic. Alongside those freedoms, Kresge and Oakes Colleges also champion the same principles for your instructors — we believe that their freedom to teach, in the ways they deem most relevant and meaningful, to be part of what makes a truly great college education at UCSC. We are concerned that the reporting form creates a climate of surveillance for instructors, especially TAs and Lecturers, who choose to participate in strike actions or who discuss the strike in class. This goes against our principles of academic freedom.

You have all experienced a number of disruptions since you arrived at UC Santa Cruz. Our country continues to wage war, we have become used to the travel ban and inhumane immigration detention and border patrol policies. We’ve all experienced the effects of climate change in the PGE power outages of the Fall quarter. Many of you have done without grades in some of your Fall classes due to strike actions. These disruptions, of course, come on top of the big changes in your life that are part of starting college. We as Provosts want you to consider these disruptions as part of your experience of the social forces we’ve begun to understand through Core. We encourage you to use the critical thinking and reading skills you practiced in Core, as well as the communities of engagement and discussion you’ve developed so far to consider the disruptions facing you now. Be part of the conversation — ask questions and tell people what you think.

We want you to share your concerns with us when you have them. As your Provosts we would love to hear from you. Your Advising and Student Life teams, as well as many other campus resources, are also here to hear your concerns and help. As Provosts, we have already made accommodations for academic review given the grading strike. We support the graduate students who are taking a stand against the impossible cost of living in Santa Cruz, and we also see that this impacts our students. We believe the strikers are sensitive to these concerns, and we are here to support you, our students, through the strike. We expect the University of California to provide opportunities for education that are accessible, and that build the educated society in which we aspire to live, and we hope the strike is resolved soon in a way that allows our graduate students and TAs to focus on the teaching and research they are here to do.


Ben Leeds Carson, Provost — Kresge College

Marcia Ochoa, Interim Provost — Oakes College

January 28, 2020

Greetings current students new and old, cybernetic luminaries, would-be mastodon-riders, ancien-regime mental gymnasts, and distinguished palindromes of Kresge College.

How have your first two weeks of winter quarter been going? (Yes, you can really answer that question—reply to me ... or see below, if you want to answer it anonymously!) 

The fall of 2019 offered us some unique challenges—power outages were just the beginning, really—but it was a quarter of plentiful rewards, thanks to excellent collaboration among our faculty, staff, and especially our entering students of the last four years. (I mention “entering students of the last four years”, because of what a great role so many of you have played in helping us redesign and perfect one of UCSC’s favorite core courses.) And now we want your help in making it even better.

For our next step on that journey, please come to next month’s Tea and Cookies—Wednesday, February 20 at 4:00 PM. The theme is “Comment Box"—I’ve created an online comment box that’s off the UCSC grid, anonymous/private and doesn’t need any login info. I’ve also left the form open to long responses—so you'll feel comfortable telling me whatever you feel like telling me, about your academic experience at Kresge College. Can you return the favor? Please try to be succinct, and please submit only one response. It will be easier for us to make a difference in your learning experience here, if we get comments that are focused and thoughtful. Thank you!

More crucial announcements:

  1. As a reminder—Family Day is this coming Saturday, February 1, 10:00 AM-noon at the Porter-Kresge Dining Hall. Please invite your loved ones, friends, parents, siblings, and family of all kinds, to join us. We’ll have coffee and pastries starting at 9:30 AM, and the official stuff—an update on the Kresge Rebuild process, conversations with Kresge and Porter students, and more—beginning at 10.


  1. Last year, first-generation Kresge graduate and critically acclaimed author Reyna Grande and I got together to start a scholarship for students doing creative work that advances the standing and visibility of Latin American communities, histories, cultures, and identities. The scholarship is open to all students, regardless of major. Applicants must submit a proposal of their creative work, including but not limited to work in arts, creative writing, digital media or gaming, music, or theater and dance. For more details please see the Reyna Grande Scholarship page, and submit your application before March 1.


  1. Bet you didn’t know these five fun facts— did you know Kresge Parliament meets Thursdays from 7:15 - 8:45 PM in the Kresge Student Lounge? Or how about that Kresge Parliament is one of the best ways to have a voice in making Kresge a better place? Did you know that you can meet an academic advisor without an appointment, by checking this drop-in schedule? And—little known fact—did you know how easy it is to book an appointment? Did you know that the Kresge is hosting a Study Abroad Peer adviser, right here in our own Advising Office, on three more Thursdays this quarter (at 10:00 AM: January 30, February 13, and March 5)?


  1. Last but not least: did you know Kresge 1: Power and Representation has a sequel? It’s called Kresge 2: Power and Representation in Media—and it’s a 5-credit joint venture of Kresge College and Film and Digital Media and it fulfills the IM general-education requirement. This spring the course will be taught by our newest faculty member, Kathryn McQueen. Dr. McQueen’s teaching and research interests include: narratives of crime and justice, literary journalism, and Central European literary history. Kate also volunteers as an editorial advisor to Wall City magazine and San Quentin News, two prisoner-run publications at California's San Quentin State Prison. I hope you’ll think about adding this course to your spring schedule.


You’re making my day if you read this far! And hopefully it was well worth your while. Thank you for spreading the news of our events, and courses, however you see fit. And thank you for being the heart of Kresge!


All my best,



Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost

Associate Professor of Music


September 26, 2019

Greetings entering Kresge Students!

I hope you are as excited as I am for the beginning of your UC Santa Cruz experience. As the College Provost, I won’t be the only one to tell you that Kresge is a special place. I hope you'll be inspired here by the power of a truly committed, and passionate community. We are a community that distinguishes itself with an emphasis on critical social dialogue, media literacy, productive dissent, and a consensus-oriented approach to decision-making. But the true heart of our unique college can be found, dating back to the words of our very first course catalogues in the early 1970s: At Kresge, we pride ourselves in being a college that constantly reinvents itself to welcome the newest voices in our community. What will Kresge become, with you, our newest members, as our leaders?


For those of you who are frosh: one of the courses that will mark the beginning of your college degree is Kresge 1 — Power and Representation. Kresge 1 is at least two kinds of courses. First, it is an introduction to how we strive to read, write, converse, and cultivate knowledge in universities—this is a class that prepares you to do well at UCSC by igniting the kinds of critical engagement and dialogue that are at the heart of higher education. Second, it is our "core" course, reflecting Kresge’s academic focus on how power and representation work in our society. You’ll learn more about that theme soon, but for now—think of Kresge 1 as a course that will serve as a focusing lens for many dialogues that you and your classmates, along with Kresge faculty and staff, will explore through the years of your work on this degree.


Kresge College may be your residential home for only a fraction of your time at UCSC, but we are your intellectual home for the whole of your college experience, all the way to graduation. Students often fulfill many of their degree requirements with Kresge courses, on topics ranging from agroecology to media studies, from cooperative management to grant-writing. We hope you’ll explore Kresge deeply, and be involved in the many smaller communities that combine to weave the fabric of our college. 


I'm thrilled you'll be joining us on this journey. Welcome to your first university course, and thank you for being the heart of Kresge!


Warm regards,

Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost

1156 High St. / UCSC

Santa Cruz, CA 95064



April 26, 2019

Dear Kresge Students!

How is your spring quarter going?

I know that for some, the third quarter of a long year can be “burn-out” time, or a time of uncertainty about your plans and next steps. This comes with the territory of the hard work you’re doing—and I don’t just mean in classes, I mean in everything. It’s been a long year for many in our community—some of our families work in parts of the country affected by fire, drought, and flooding. Others’ security, or livelihood, is threatened by presidential and other political rhetoric on gender identity, mental health, immigration, and more—including, this morning, the Pentagon’s mobilization to remilitarize our border with Mexico. And of course many among us experience challenges that can’t fit easily into any summary.  Please reach out to me, or advising or residence life staff, if we might be able to offer you support. And don’t deny yourself the strength that can be found in connecting with your family, friends, and mentors who have earned your trust.

I’m also writing today to share some important announcements! Please read through all four points below —

  1. Summer enrollment opens May 1st.
Have you thought about making progress toward your degree this summer? Summer Session is a perfect time offers a change of pace, a fresh start, and a range of truly exciting small classes that might not fit in your academic schedule in other quarters. You can complete a GE requirement, find an enriching 2-credit class, or even take a class completely online in just five weeks. Kresge’s courses — open to all students regardless of affiliation! — include Writing Lab (65Wl in sessions 1 and 2), Service Learning (12A), Introduction to Grant Writing & National Service (12C), and the Kresge Garden Cooperative (63).
Session 1, June 24 - July 26
Session 2, July 29 - August 30
8-week Session, June 24 - August 16
10-week Session, June 24 - August 31
Information on Summer Session, course offerings, and housing is at (See details on fees, financial aid, and refund policies at this site too.)
  1. Kresge Community Award nominations

We'd like to recognize our exemplary leaders and community members, and we need your help! Please help us identify and please nominate Kresge students, staff, and faculty who have made a positive difference, big or small, in the college or local community. Award recipients will be honored at a reception in the Kresge Provost's House in June. Please remind your friends to nominate as well.

  1. TOMORROW: Fiesta fundraiser benefiting student scholarships at UCSC, including the Reyna Grande scholarship.

This Saturday (4/27), if you or someone with looking for some fancy entertainment, join members of the campus community for live music, free dessert, and a photo booth at the Museum of Art and History in downtown Santa Cruz. Tickets benefit UCSC’s/ Latin American and Latina/o Studies’ Research Center for the Americas, and Kresge’s Reyna Grande Scholarship, so with apologies to those of you for whom this is out-of-reach (a $20 student-donor rate, otherwise $30), we are still trying to help these great causes, by spreading the word.

  1. Why not put the Provost’s Tea and Cookies on your calendar!

Break your usual routine with Kresge’s best open secret — the fast-growing underground phenomenon of tea and light refreshments at the Kresge Provost House. You read that right. Come to chat with and advisor, the Provost, and other students, about how things are going. Or just get some down-time with a good warm beverage and some yummy cookie energy. (We also have a variety of healthy and vegan snacks.) And please feel free to bring a friend! Wednesday, May 15th from 4:00 - 6:00 pm. Come as you are!


Thanks for reading this far (that’s all the required stuff—). I also want you to know, though, that I think every day about the wide variety of paths that Kresge Students have shared with me — both their paths to Kresge, from so many different walks of life, and the paths they aspire to take in their education and future — and although our struggles are wide-ranging and sometimes overwhelming, I’m grateful to be a part of a college that helps so many students overcome obstacles and thrive in their aspirations, and Kresge wants to do even more.

Spring can also be a time of excitement for what’s to come, a time of asking new questions, finding new communities, finding new opportunities to laugh, and unexpected forms of family and friendship. And don’t forget sight of the new growth on the branches of the lovely redwoods and Douglas fir that give Kresge so much of its sense of strength and belonging. This positive side, too, is different for all of us, but in each case, can be an opportunity for renewal. Again, I hope you all feel free to reach out to me, or to an advisor, or another member of our faculty or staff, to share your experiences and your struggles. Please consider making an appointment with me (, or stopping by Office Hours (Tuesdays at 10:30 AM, or Fridays at 10 AM).

My best regards,


Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost

Associate Professor of Music

Kresge College Office


January 4, 2019

Happy New Year Kresgians, and welcome back!

Don’t skip this email! There are funding opportunities in it! And other opportunities, too—to warm our spirits in a cold January, and set us on the best paths for a year we hope will be full of possibility!

First—mark you calendars for Tea & Cookies! January 23rd and February 20th from 4-6pm — as always, at the Provost residence. This is your chance for a little pre-dinner dessert, or a chance to tell Ben how you liked your first quarter here, or maybe just a chance to relax and feel a change of scene for a little while between your other commitments. Feel free to bring a mug, a friend, or just come as you are.

And you won’t want to miss Media and Society this quarter — in case this wasn’t on your radar before, Media and Society is an extension of our core course, with lectures that build on many of your core experiences thinking about rhetoric, society, power, representation. We’ve got three riveting talks this winter:

  • “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism” with Associate Professor Safiya Noble on February 12th at the Kresge Town Hall at 7pm. Dr. Noble has spoken recently at Stanford University, and at conferences, museums and other universities in England, Germany, Canada, New York.
  • “Telling My Truth: Creative Writing and Journalism” with Reyna Grande on February 19th at the Kresge Town Hall at 7pm. Reyna Grande (Kresge '99) is the winner of the American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award, and she recently published her second memoir, A Dream Called Home. In this talk, she'll discuss how creative writing helped her find true representation, a voice, and a sense of purpose in a larger world.
  • Sally Lehrman is the senior director of the journalism ethics program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. On March 5th she’ll be giving a talk related to her work as director of the Trust Project, an international consortium of news organizations that focuses on transparency and accountability. 7pm at Kresge Town Hall.

Third: I’m thrilled to announce the inaugural year of a new scholarship, which is in honor of one our esteemed alumna, Reyna Grande. The Reyna Grande Scholarship is awarded annually to a Kresge student whose creative work, either in arts departments or in creative writing, is intended to advance the standing and visibility of Latinx culture and history, promote positive outcomes for Latinx communities, or otherwise strengthen awareness and dialogue on Latinx identity. To apply, please click here to read more, and note that the deadline is February 1, 2019.

I also urge you to apply for the following to support your endeavours at UCSC, whether they are artistic, service-oriented, or research-focused:


We also are excited to announce an essay contest for all Kresge College students. You are invited to submit entries in up to two of the following categories for a chance to win a $150 prize:

  1. Write an open letter about what it meant for you personally and/or professionally to hear Jose Antonio Vargas speak at UCSC back in November 2017.
  2. Write an open letter about what Kresge’s Core class has meant to you: criticism welcome.
  3. Write an open letter about what it meant for you personally and/or professionally to hear Martha Mendoza speak at UCSC in November 2018.
    • Each letter must be a maximum of 1 page single-spaced, 12-point font.
    • You can submit up to two entries
  • Deadline: February 15th, 2019

That’s all for now — thanks to everyone who read this far. Have a wonderful winter quarter and keep in touch!


Ben, Sarah, & Beth

Provost | Preceptor | CAPC


November 1, 2018

Dear Cherished Kresge Alumni, Staff, and Faculty,


The deep and broad community of Kresge College has expressed so much sadness in these last few days, to say a very fond farewell to Professor Helene Moglen, who passed away on October 18. The debt we owe to Helene—a professor of Literature and Feminist Studies, Dean of Arts of Humanities, and Provost of Kresge College from 1978 to 1983—is great; not only for her foundational leadership, but in the many years since then, as her voice has returned, reliably, to remind us of who we are, and to help us build strengths in the present and future. She is survived by Sheila Namir, her partner since 2001, whom she married in 2016; her sister Glorya Hale; her sons Eben, Damon and Seth; and her three grandchildren, Dylan, Pierre, and Morgan Moglen. An online guestbook is available where words of remembrance may be read and expressed; donations may be made in her memory to the Center for Cultural Studies at UC Santa Cruz.


In her own testimony, and in that of former Campus Provost Robert Kliger, Provost Moglen was a tremendous force in moving Kresge—always an intense college, and sometimes a troubled one, with a complex and difficult early history—into a new era of openness, connection, and visibility to the larger world around us. And she cherished that work, deeply:


I loved being provost. It really was a way of working with young people very creatively … around the edges of what was possible, and trying to resolve problems in informal ways that made a lot of sense. And at that time it was possible.


Helene gave generously of her time to those who asked. As I began as Provost three years ago, she urged me to work thoughtfully but collaboratively, and offered many gifts of experience in support of that; despite her already long service to this campus, she always wanted to give more. She recognized, to me, the 'storied' Kresge as a thriving center of the most visionary, the most verdant, the most thoughtfully radical, and Romantic commitments to everyday greatness. Yet she understood just as much that we are a place with vulnerabilities and unmet potentials—and happily, a place where the future opens seemingly beyond normal institutional limits.


Professor Moglen was a scholar of, among other things, writing-as-activism, and of conscious pedagogy. No wonder then, that she distinguished herself as a Provost, giving Kresge a forward edge of accountability and justice. In her tenure she persuaded both the American Studies and History of Consciousness programs to reside in our remote woods, and by all accounts, she transported Kresge’s rich aspirational tradition, intact, into a present world that could make sense to a whole, diverse community. A community in which power, with all its flaws and challenges, would at least be visible, open to criticism, and ready for meaningful influence by otherwise marginal voices.


Helene’s contributions to all of UCSC over many years—to the Cultural Studies Colloquium, to teachers’ and learners’ organizing efforts, and in support of public education—were full and vital. She was a scholar and writer of possibly unparalleled richness in our community; at the same time, to her conversations with so many of us, she brought the modest warmth and love of an ever-attentive and unassuming friend. She will be intensely missed, and yet her presence felt, by a community in which collaboration might still truly be possible. Thank you, Helene, for all you have brought to us.


Peace profound,



Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost


April 25, 2018

Dear friends, family, and alumni of Kresge College!

We're excited to announce a new way to be a part of Kresge’s increasingly vital network of support: The Kresge College Annual Fund.

As many of you know, Kresge’s endowment is perilously small—the smallest among UCSC’s colleges. We are buoyed by generous one-time donations that support specific projects, but each year, to fulfill core missions, we find we must stretch dwindling state funds further and further. We think Kresge students deserve more. So we’re asking you, as cherished Kresge affiliates, and on the eve of our exciting rebuild, to give. Help us restore a tradition of intrepid, participatory education, and put Kresge on a path toward true renewal. Donate today.

Want to learn more about our vision for this new fund? We’d love to have your input.

You’ve already given so much to Kresge, and your commitment to the annual fund can be transformative. We hope you’ll consider contributing.

Adolfo Mercado
Kresge '98
Kresge Alumni Advisory Board Member

Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge Provost


February 27, 2018

Dear Kresge Students,

Tomorrow is Giving Day — a chance for the wider community to make a difference in what we do here at Kresge College.

Kresge lives to educate, and educates to live. One important piece of the Kresge community is the varied energy and inspiration of its cooperative student organizations: the Food Coop, the Garden Coop, the Photography Coop, and the Music Coop. For Giving Day this year, we are asking alumni, and our broader community, to donate to the cooperatives, and specifically to support new student-driven initiatives toward their publicity, development, fora, and educational opportunities.

Please help spread the word about our project with anyone in your network that might be interested in helping out. And ... I don’t make this next request lightly ... but if you feel comfortable doing so, please also consider reaching out to your own family, or giving something small yourself. A large number of even very small donations (even as little as $5) sends a *powerful* message about who we are, and how much we care about our community, to other prospective financial partners in Kresge’s future. Of course, you already give to Kresge in many ways. Your commitment to your fellow students, to our intellectual community, to service and leadership, to our nurturing of compassion, conversations about justice, and our respect for consensus-building and productive dissent—in short your commitment to full participation in our community—is among the greatest gifts we could hope for.

If anyone you know is interested in donating to Kresge’s Giving Day project, please let them know that the time to give is any time tomorrow, February 28th — and it’s tax-deductible. 

We’d especially like to encourage Kresge supporters to donate between 6:00-8:00 p.m., which would put us in the running for a matching donation, if our project receives the largest number of unique donations. And we are sharing updates and links via Facebook and Twitter, so please do follow us if you don’t already!

With appreciation,

Ben Leeds Carson
Kresge College Provost


January 10, 2018

Provost Ben Leeds Carson wrote a letter to the LA Times about the easy stereotyping of UC Santa Cruz: "An education at UC Santa Cruz? We'd all be lucky to have one"


January 7, 2018

Dear Students of Kresge College,


Welcome home to Kresge! And I know I speak for all returning students when I offer a warm welcome the many new transfer students who join our community at the start of this quarter. For decades, Kresge has openly strived to make its newest members the heart of the community. Let’s honor that tradition by hearing their voices and making this just as much their home as it is the home of longtime Kresge citizens.


More than any college at UCSC, Kresge is known for students who take initiative, and who shape their college experience in collaboration with its notoriously passionate faculty and staff. Informally, we're also the “transfer college”—claiming among the highest numbers of transfers year by year, and serving as the host of UCSC’s Services for Transfer And Reorientation Students (STARS). We’re proud that the current president of the UCSC Alumni Council, Kresge alumnus Adolfo Mercado, was also a transfer student, and his continuing involvement in the life of UCSC attests to the importance of the transfer community in making us who we are today.

Now for some important announcements — mark your calendars!

  • Still looking for another 2 credits in your schedule? Try enrolling in Provost Carson’s Kresge 18: Natural History Practicum, a popular course now for more than two years. Despite the official listed time, we’re bumping it forward 15 minutes to Tuesdays at 8:00 AM. That might seem early, but it’s worth it — join us to learn about observing the complex wilderness + human habitat of the UCSC campus. It features 5 amazing guests who take us on some of the best nature hikes you can hope to experience.

  • January 24th and February 22nd, 4:00-5:30 pm (Provost House) — Tea and Cookies. Here’s a chance to break your usual routine to come by my place for a chat about how things are going ... or just get some down time with a warm beverage and snacks. And feel free to bring a friend!

  • January 25th at 7:10 PM (Kresge Town Hall) — Winona La Duke, an activist who “spent years successfully fighting the Sandpiper pipeline, a pipeline similar to Dakota Access” (Democracy Now!), and director of Honor the Earth, promises to be one of the high-points of our Common Ground Center series. Her talk will address Standing Rock, the importance fo divestment campaigns, and investing in the “New Energy Economy.”

  • February 13th at 5:30 PM (Kresge Seminar Room) Martha Mendoza, our second Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist this year—and a Kresge alum!—will be the next guest of Kresge’s Media and Society Series. A contributor to Bloomberg and the Washington Post, Mendoza specializes in reporting on immigration and human trafficking, poverty, the environment, and the economics Silicon Valley. Join us afterwards for a pizza reception at the Provost Residence. RSVP here or email Beth Hernandez-Jason

  • March 6th at 5:30 PM (Kresge Seminar Room) — Conn Hallinan joins the Media and Society Series (see above) to retell the history of journalism, and to invite students to a critical inquiry into our relationship with the news. Conn is a former Provost of Kresge College, a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, and a blogger at Dispatches from the Edge.


Finally, as a reminder, the deadline for the Student Project Fund is tomorrow —submit your application to Beth Hernandez-Jason by midnight on January 8th. The second round of applications are due February 8th, so if you’re not quite ready now, you still have time.  


Happy New Year, and please stay warm!


Ben Leeds Carson

Provost, Kresge College | UCSC


Email Provost Ben Leeds Carson at

Archived messages from the Provost:

November 2017 - Annual report

March 2017

February 2017

February 2016

See Also